Diane Vigneault, development officer for the New Brunswick Association of CBDCs was pleased to present Rachel Cyr with the first ever Woman Entrepreneur Award for the Greater Bathurst region, at a lavish gala during Small Business Week.
Rachel Cyr is where she is because of evolution, but not the sort of evolution commonly associated with Charles Darwin. Events that unfolded over a number of years led her to set up a business in the arts.
In 1984, she spent her time painting and exhibiting her work and sometimes had to scramble to get her paintings framed and matted. “In the beginning, I just painted and held exhibits, but I always needed someone to frame my work,” she says. “Then I bought someone’s framing equipment and started doing my own framing. Later, I decided to see if there was a demand for custom framing.”
She discovered that there was indeed a demand, more than she had imagined.
That was in 1993. She has since relocated her business to St. Peter Avenue, near Vanier Boulevard, and has developed expertise in framing and matting pictures, posters and photos, as well as various mementos, for example, baby shoes or a game winning hockey puck. “We can frame almost anything,” she says. “We do custom made-to-measure frames and are equipped to cut matting; plus, we also carry pre-made frames and matting.” Professional lamination is also available.
Being an artist, she has a good eye for pairing colours and styles for optimal impact. She has a huge selection of styles, colours, and sizes of frames from which to choose. “There’s something here to suit all tastes; plus, there is a different range of prices for frames of the same style and colour. We offer rapid services and if a client requires something special, it can be ordered very easily.”
Her shop has a business-studio atmosphere. She carries a wide selection of paints and art supplies and offers workshops on silk-painting techniques right in her store. In addition, she is frequently invited to local schools to teach silk painting. “There are techniques used to paint on silk using French dye that I teach.”
“I’ve never really considered myself an entrepreneur, but I’ve always done my own thing, so maybe I’m at the mid-point between being an artist and an entrepreneur,” she says. However, the business has grown significantly from its humble beginnings and it continues to draw new clients. “Before, I was more of an artist, but now, because of time-constraints, I do more framing.”